A/N: Just a little Romy drabble I made up in between stories. I hate the next chapter I wrote for everyone is worth saving so I am taking a mild break to regroup. This is what came out of that regroup. :D
All I can see is a sea of blood as it coats the Earth in its deathly hue. Rivers run red and oceans are no longer vibrant shades of blue. The Earth has turned into a dark place and its all thanks to you.
I watched as my family and friends are taken, one by one, to camps and markets to be sold to the highest bidder or used like the dirt you make them out to be. And I try not to cry as I have to bury my family in mass graves along the edge or what used to be the loving home we shared together.
We try our best to save the ones we can, underground passages, our own personal underground railroad, helps us to escape to the north into Canadian territory. Your madness hasn't reached that far yet and I fear for the day of when it does.
We're hiding now, just on the outskirts of your new home. Thousands of captured mutants mill about on the periphery of your house of steel. Tonight your fellow horsemen are gathering in the west, trying to capture the rest of the resistance, the last of your family. They don't know that they were fed false information and are now half way across the country when we're really in their own backyard.
I crawl through a gap in the fence, pinning it back so that when I start to help the others escape it'll still be wide open for those small enough to crawl through it. When I enter the main holding yard I can't help but feel my heart shutter in pain as I see you standing above the masses as a God amongst insects. You don't notice me and for a moment I almost hope you do. Even if it's just for a millisecond, I would love to know if you're still in there. I want to see if you're still the man I fell madly in love with nearly three years ago.
But you don't and I don't know if I'll ever know at this point who you are. So I sigh to myself and scan the area for a familiar face to help me start the escape. However, now a day, with the world coming to a standstill, everyone looks the same. Everyone has hollow eyes and bodies that are always dirty, hunger starved and beaten.
Then my eyes locked on a familiar group. A group that we had believed for so long had been dead and buried with the rest of the poor lost souls of this godforsaken war. A group that we had believed perished during the first wave of attacks. But here they stood, still strong against the abuse, bloodshed and disassociation with the outside world. Here they stood proud and illustrious against the darkness that you created and for all I was worth I began to cry for the first time in a long time.
They are the hope in which we long thought was lost to us as we fought a losing battle of wit and strategy. The Wolverine lost during the first wave of the massacre guarded my fellow comrades we had all believed were lost. The Phoenix stands vivaciously beside him as she commands the respect of her equals. Behind them both, hidden by their stature are the rest of the younger X-Men lost to the times of war and destruction.
Iceman, Jubilee, Boom-Boom, Sunspot, Cannonball, Magma and Spike.
All of them, the ones we didn't know if they were dead or alive stood behind them with the same look of honorable disinterest.
I crept within the shadows of the holding yard as I made my way stealthily towards my friends. Hoping I wouldn't have to go far before one of them noticed me. I noticed a guard, mutant for sure. In the age of Apocalypse humans were either exterminated from American soil or they were lucky enough to escape through underground tunnels to either the North or the South. None of them remained behind the walls of this mutant prison country.
I pulled off my leather gloves, my last pair from my old life, and tucked them safely within my bomber jacket. Reaching out from behind the mutant guard I placed two carefully manicured hands across his bare face. His veins became prominent immediately as my mutation took everything from him, his life, his memories, his powers. I felt empowered as my body surged with my newest ability to make telepathic relays. I looked down at the fallen body at my feet. I had to make quick work to hide the carcass before continuing on my mission to free my teammates and to do the one thing I thought I would never have to do.
When I looked back up I wasn't that surprised to see Wolverine staring straight at me. Nothing could stop him from noticing a guard magically disappearing. Not on his watch anyways. A look of disbelief seemed to have washed over his face as he looked at me with those hard grey eyes of his. I smiled wide at him and gave him a friendly wave.
I began to saunter over to him as if we were really just playing a child's game of hide and go seek. A game that he was apparently better at than myself.
"Told ya sugar I could find you anywhere," I said to him with a genuine smile.
"Took you damn near long enough," he grunted out as he returned my smile. I knew he wasn't upset with me. I had done my very best to find him, even after everyone told me they were long since dead, I knew better. Logan wouldn't stop putting up a fight for nothing.
"Way's clear and I already opened the fence," I explained simply. My eyes never left him. I felt that if I looked at them, the children of a past life, I wouldn't be able to complete this mission.
"Good job Kid," he replied and turned to face the younger ones, "let's go home."
None of them cheered or whooped up into the air like they used to. They all just stood there and nodded their heads accordingly. They weren't children anymore, they were soldiers and it was time to finish what was started.
"We need to get the collars off," Jean informed me as she stood stoic beside Logan. Her once medium length red hair now flowed in gentle waves nearly past her waist. Her once blue-green eyes were now as stone hard as Logan's and had turned into a murky grey color.
"No problem," I replied cheerfully as I used the super strength I had gained during the first months of battle to crush the key pad on their necks. And it seemed, as the collars fell away, that each of them gained a spirit in them that had long since been lost.
"Get the other's out," I said to them with a sad expression. My mission is far from over and freeing them wasn't even on the agenda.
"Sorry kid I ain't leaving you behind neither," Logan said to me as he helped Jean organize the mutants so it didn't look like we were breaking out in masses. If anything like that happened we wouldn't make it to the county line or another country for that matter.
"Cyclopes and Gamma Team are waiting just about three clicks from here. If you can get everyone to run as fast as they can in opposite directions and have them rendezvous there then we can get these people out of this godforsaken place for good," I said with such heart and heat I hadn't even realized I was clenching my fists. "My objective is not complete Wolverine and I do not plan on coming home."
"I won't let you kid," Logan sternly replied to my obvious display of disobedience, "I just got you back."
"Sorry Logan, but it's either me or everyone else in this place," I explained to him without a hint of regret.
I remembered the moment Scott had explained this mission to us. This was the mission that would either break or make us. He explained it simply enough, but it seemed like all things simple it just wasn't meant to be.
"You volunteered for this didn't you?" Logan asked me accusingly. Of course I had. I had volunteered for this mission, the mission that would possibly cost me my life or my sanity. It was the only way out us. It was the only way we could be happy again.
"I won't let you," he said to me again with all the fatherly adoration I had always loved him for.
"You don't have a choice," I said despondently. I didn't want to cry not while I had to do what needed to be done tonight.
"We always have a choice Marie," he says my name and for a moment I hadn't even recognized it. No one has said my name, not since you anyways.
"You're right Logan," I say quietly, just above a whisper, "and this is my choice."
"There' gotta be another way kid."
"There isn't Logan, this is it. This is the last dance of the night, the end of the show."
"Then kill me," he says to me and I look down at him in pure shock and then in anger.
"You're the only one who can, the only one who can make it all end for me," he explains to me in desperation, that only tells me he's been thinking about it, the end.
"I won't kill the only part of my heart that's worth fighting for," I explain to him.
It's true; I had given you everything, almost my entire heart. But you knew as did everyone else, that a small part of it would always lie with Logan. And when you left us, left us to die, you took my heart with you and all the tiny broken pieces too, all except the small portion I had given to Logan. The portion that would forever keep me grounded to this Earth.
"Kid you're all I've got left to fight for," he says to me desperately trying to make me understand.
"No Logan," I say with a gentle smile as I watch people slowly start to evacuate the building, "I am not anymore."
He looks behind me at the children running underneath the fencing. Jean's eyes meeting his and I wonder if maybe something happened during their two years here together or maybe it's just a friendship stronger than what Logan and I will ever have. But it doesn't matter now. It's too late, I already volunteered.
"It's time for me to go," I tell him as he removes his eyes off of his pack, the children that he helped keep safe for so many years.
"I will always love and remember you Marie," he tells me and I smile knowingly up at him.
"I will love you forever Logan," I answer back as I take him into a tight hug.
When we part and look into each other's eyes for one last time and I know in that moment I am doing the right thing. I will save them, its only option we have left.
I don't turn to look back at what I believe will be the future for this world; I don't turn back as I move forward towards my destiny. Taking a huge leap into the air, using the powers I had absorbed so long ago with the death of one of the first forsworn, I made the climb up to where I had seen you last.
Jean I called telepathically out.
I will she said before I could finish and I knew she would.
After what we assumed was Jean's death, the capture of Logan and your betrayal, Scott and I for awhile could only find a moments comfort in each other's company. And in that moment we didn't care that our loved ones were gone and all that was left for us was this war and the basic need of survival. In that moment we were happy again. And when I took this mission, this mission to save that little piece of happiness, I knew our moments together were over. Scott had tried to convince me otherwise, saying that I was all that was left to keep him going in this bleak world. But I knew better, just like I knew with Logan, men like them don't just need me, they need a purpose and this war was more than enough to cover that.
I landed on the balcony with agile ease from years of practice. The guards had already started to assemble on the ground. I looked down at my wrist communicator. It took them fifteen minutes to figure out what was going on and we still had another ten minutes before they assembled and started to recapture the escaped mutants. That was plenty of time.
When I entered the bedroom I wasn't surprised to see him waiting for me. I guess after so many years of war and pestilence things like that really don't surprise anyone anymore.
"Hello," I say with a calm and cool voice.
"Chere," he says as if we're back at the institute. It's like a slap in the face and I can't give him the satisfaction of responding to it like any woman scorned should.
"It's been a long time Remy," I say with sad, hurt filled eyes. I am hoping that maybe before this all begins I can see a little bit of the man that I miss with every inch of my stolen heart.
"Far too long Chere," he replied as if this is all just another business meeting. He's leaning up against the side one of the bedroom walls. His lean arms are crossed over his torso and a cigarette that I know isn't lit is being shuffled through his nimble fingers.
"Why are you here?" He asks me, his red on black eyes boring into my green ones. I won't look away, I want him to see. I want him to see what he's let go, see what he's missing.
"I came to give you something back. I thought you might need it today," I say solemnly.
"Qui?" He asks me in surprise.
I don't think he was expecting me to say something like that. I reached into my bomber jacket, the one he gave me so long ago. I feel the gloves first before pulling it out. The card is frayed along the edges and the once brilliant white now tea stained.
"Here," I say holding it out. It's the Queen of Hearts, his number one girl.
He doesn't say anything and doesn't act as if to move. He just stares at me and the card as if he's finally realizing something. As if for the first time in what feels like forever he remembers what we had and I see that man I will always love.
"I love you," I say as I move and place the card on one of the various tables in the room. And when I look down at the card and trace the outline of the words written across the front of it, I let a tear slip away.
You stole this thief's heart right from under his nose.
The silly phrase had caused me at the time to laugh until I cried, but that was so long ago and the words seemed to burn the tips of my fingers as I retraced over them again.
"But I know you don't love me anymore and I know now that I was never enough, I never will be," I pause to take a shaky breath before continuing, "and I am sorry I couldn't be whatever it was you needed me to be."
He doesn't respond as I step away from the card and pull out the laser gun that's hidden underneath my bomber jacket. I look down at my watch just for a fraction of a second. Strom's Alpha Team is already in battle now; she and about forty X-Men are taking out the other tree horsemen as we speak.
"Why Chere?" He finally asks me as if I am the one whose doing all of this.
"Because," I begin to say as I calmly pull back the trigger on the gun, "I volunteered."